Business Development

  • Popular Types of Multiple-vendor Contracts
    The federal government could not function without multi-vendor contracts and more and more dollars are being awarded under this type of contract each year. There are many types of multi-vendor contracts. The two most popular are summarized below.... read more
  • Multi-vendor Contracts in the Federal Market
    The federal government has put an increasing emphasis on a type of pre-negotiated contract that is awarded to a number of vendors before specific purchasing requirements are known (called a "multi-vendor contract"). When the need for a product or... read more
  • Become an Insider in the Federal Market
    Consider becoming an insider and share in the fruits of the world's largest market. Remember, the insiders were outsiders at one point in time and the game is not that tough to play once you understand it. In order to become an insider, you must first... read more
  • Distinguishing Messages Win in the Federal Market
    Everyone thinks their competitors are worthless and that they alone have the best product or service known to man. Federal end users have heard "we are the best" so many times that it makes them scream when they hear it. End users want to hear simple... read more
  • Retaining Your Crown Jewels
    The crown jewels of any federal service contractor are the company's existing service contracts. Existing service contracts are so valuable that they are virtually irreplaceable. Such contracts are the source of, among other things, the following:... read more
  • Trench Warfare in Federal Sales
    People on the outside do not realize what goes on when contracts worth millions to billions of dollars are at stake. Sales efforts can be likened to trench warfare and the meek inherit very little. When a large federal contract is known to be in the... read more
  • How Purchasing Decisions Are Made
    Like all of us, the people who make buying decisions in the federal government are influenced by their own biases, perceptions, and views of the world. Although the government uses an ostensibly objective numeric scoring system to evaluate proposals, in... read more
  • Who Sells in the Federal Market?
    The person who sells products and services in the federal market depends on the type of product or service being sold, the size of the company, and the dollar value of the procurement. Deals involving millions or billions of dollars frequently involve... read more
  • Federal Sales and Self Interest, Prime Contractors
    The previous installment discussed the motivation of politicians in the federal purchasing process. This installment looks at the motivation of prime contractors. The motivation of prime contractors is simple; their bottom line. Appeal to it and they... read more
  • Federal Sales and Self Interest, Members of Congress and the White House
    The previous installment discussed the motivation of small business specialists in the federal purchasing process. This installment looks at members of congress and the White House. We live in a political world that dictates how members of congress... read more
  • Federal Sales and Self Interest, the Small Business Specialist (Advocate)
    The previous installment discussed the motivation of contracting officers in the federal purchasing process. This installment looks at the motivation of small business specialists (advocates). Small business specialists want to help small... read more
  • Federal Sales and Self Interest, the Contracting Officer
    The previous installment discussed the motivation of end users in the federal purchasing process. This installment looks at the motivation of contracting officers. Contracting officers are dedicated in their responsibility to follow federal... read more
  • Federal Sales and Self Interest, the Federal End User
    The next four installments discuss how self interest impacts people involved in the federal buying process. Buyers in the commercial and federal sectors behave in the same manner. Most buyers will choose the path of least resistance and then run to get... read more
  • The Role of Best Value in Federal Purchasing
    What does the term "Best Value" mean to a sales person selling in the federal market? In short, it means that federal buyers do not have to select the vendor with the lowest price. It also means that the sales person can sell features and... read more
  • Guidelines for Companies New to Government Contracting
    Sales people take note. You are free to meet with and sell federal end users. Federal purchasing rules not only allow it but encourage it. How else could end users asses the value of your product or service? Your competitors are also free to make... read more
  • Get Out in Front to Win
    The book of rules governing federal purchases is called the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) which can be found at The FAR is as thick as the Bible and reads like the convoluted, bewildering document you would expect... read more
  • Become an Incumbent Contractor and Get Paid to Sell
    In a previous installment we discussed the need for direct sales and using best value to win a federal contract. Once you make a federal sale, you can use your company's stellar performance on a federal project to leverage more sales. Federal... read more
  • Go After Small Opportunities in Your Locale
    Small businesses do reasonably well within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area because of the vast amounts of contract dollars set aside for the region. However, the abundance of contract opportunities is offset by the level of competition. The... read more
  • Can Others Help You Win Contracts?
    Winning federal contracts is an expensive and arduous process. It helps if you can find someone to pave the way. The best candidate would be someone, such as a business partner or personal friend, who has a federal customer. Government small... read more
  • Are Federal Bids Wired?
    A common perception about federal public bids is that they are "wired," implying that the bid is set up or rigged to favor a particular company. They are not wired in that sense but in a practical sense they may favor the incumbent contractor or... read more
  • Pre-selling and Competition
    In buying services and solutions federal buyers need to meet with vendors to determine the intangible aspects of what they are buying including feature, benefit, and risks. Pre-selling ahead of a contact award is the rule rather than the exception... read more
  • Is the Federal Playing Field Level?
    During our federal sales seminars a predominant question from attendees is: "Is the federal playing field level?" The answer to this question is yes, in theory, but no in practice. The federal market is open to a degree but in a much different way... read more
  • Who Makes a Federal Sale?
    A general perception of companies outside the federal market is that the market is unique or special because the public's money is being spent. Many outsiders believe that the government and their congressman are eagerly awaiting their call for... read more
  • The Best Closing Mechanism
    GSA Schedule contracts are the best closing mechanisms for small and medium-sized businesses that cannot afford to hold several multi-vendor contracts. Under a GSA Schedule contract, the federal government and the vendor agree to pre-approved... read more
  • More on Closing Federal Sales
    The last installment discussed various ways to close federal sales. Among all closing mechanisms, multi-vendor contracts are becoming the favored way to close federal sales if you are lucky enough to have one. Companies holding multi-vendor... read more
  • Public Bids as a Closing Procedure
    Why would the federal government select a public bid as the closing procedure of choice given the horrendous lead time and cost involved? Federal contracting officers do their very best to avoid them. Although it is true that public bids are the... read more
  • Why Are GSA Schedule Offers So Difficult to Write?
    In previous installments, we have emphasized that GSA Schedule contracts are the closing vehicle of choice for small to medium-sized businesses. Yet preparing the offer (or proposal) to obtain a Schedule contract is a very difficult task --... read more
  • How to Close a Federal Sale
    Making sales in the commercial sector can be difficult but closing a sale usually isn't. In the commercial sector, a senior manager works with vendors to decide what product best suits his or her company's needs and then makes the purchase using... read more
  • People Buy Not Agencies
    Contrary to popular belief, people buy in the federal market, not agencies. The only way to make a federal sale is to contact a buyer through a direct sales call. Companies unwilling to make the sales calls are not going to experience success in... read more
  • Playing the Federal Sales Game
    The federal market can be an alien and confusing world. Many would-be contractors firmly believe that federal bureaucracies are governed by strange and convoluted procurement rules designed to confuse and even intimidate. The market appears big and... read more
  • Play by the Federal Purchasing Rules
    There is no getting around it. The federal government is a monstrous bureaucracy. The federal rules concerning competition for contracts and how the federal government buys have changed significantly over the past ten years. The new rules seek to... read more
  • Should We or Shouldn't We
    Should you join the parade to grab some of endless flow of federal contracting opportunities? The federal government has always been an extremely lucrative market; world events are just making it more visible. As with everything in life, you can't... read more
  • The World's Biggest Customer
    The federal government is the world's biggest customer; currently spending nearly $ 400 billion a year. Companies outside the market often have the misconception that the federal market exists only within the boundaries of the Capitol's Beltway. In... read more
  • The Democratic Victory and Federal Contracting
    It goes without saying that the results of the November election will change federal contracting. The pundits are currently taking a stab at predicting how the game will change. Here are my guesses: The government must still operate and changes... read more
  • Who Will Assist Me in Making a Federal Sale?
    A general misconception is that the federal market is unique or special because taxpayer dollars are being spent. Many outsiders believe that the federal government and congressional representatives are eager to lend assistance to businesses... read more
  • Finding Federal Buyers
    A huge problem that newcomers face when trying to enter the federal market place is that it is enormously difficult to find end users. A centralized database providing information on existing contracts would go a long way toward opening the... read more
  • Let the Light Shine In
    A huge problem that newcomers face when trying to enter the federal market place is that it is enormously difficult to find end users (the person with money who needs what a company is selling). End users typically want to keep a low profile to... read more
  • Small Businesses and the Federal Market
    Knowing your customers is the key to sales success. This is true whether you're selling to public or private organizations. The most successful federal contractors take the time to uncover contact information for the buyers who purchase what their... read more
  • Real versus Bureaucratic Requirements
    When selling solutions to federal buyers, you must recognize the difference between bureaucratic and real requirements. Keep in mind that the bureaucracy may not see the solution as you do. In the alternative, the end user might agree with you... read more
  • Provide a Solution, Not a Sales Pitch
    The process of arranging meetings with federal procurement officials (end users) is not an easy one. End users are busy and vendors from countries all around the world are trying to sell the end users their wares. On the other hand, end users are... read more
  • Distinguishing Yourself
    You have a great product or service. Your price is where it needs to be. Perhaps you responded to an RFP once or you spent tons of time and money writing a proposal. Why aren't the orders coming in? You are probably are experiencing problems... read more
  • Shoot the Messenger
    Fedmarket's Federal Sales Academy was prominently featured in the April 15, 2006 issue of Government Executive Magazine in an article entitled, "Contracting 101" by Kimberly Palmer. A major theme of the article is that you have to work your... read more
  • Developing a Federal Sales Plan
    How early should you identify a sales opportunity in the federal market? The answer is that an opportunity must be identified before anyone, including the customer, knows that an opportunity exists. Our customers frequently say "We don't want... read more
  • Insights on Closing a Federal Sales
    The commercial and federal markets are basically identical in that you have to make one-on-one sales calls to end users in order to sell your product or service. Most commercial sales are closed relatively quickly by executing a contract with the... read more
  • Entering the Federal Market
    You are a small to medium sized business located outside the Washington, DC area and you have decided that you want to enter the federal market. What should you do? 1. Develop a List of Potential Federal Buyers More than 700,000 federal employees... read more
  • Multiple Award Contracts: The Wave of the Future
    Multiple Award Contracts (MACs) have the following characteristics. Awards are made to a number of vendors and the winning vendors compete among themselves for business. Task Orders or Requests for Quotes (RFQs) are issued to one or more of the... read more
  • Stepping Over the Line
    Our newsletters and sales seminars continually emphasize the importance of customer relationships; building solid relationships with your customers is the core of a successful federal sales program. A recent Government Executive article titled... read more
  • Small Businesses and Federal Sales
    The following question often surfaces at our seminars, "What procedures should be followed by small businesses eager to participate in the federal market?" The answer to this question is that a small business should implement an aggressive... read more
  • Alliant: Small Business May Keep Their Alliant Small Business Contracts
    We have had repeated inquiries concerning the change in a company's size status as a result of the influx of Alliant contract dollars. More specifically, business executives have inquired whether their company may keep their Alliant contract if... read more
  • Can Your Congressperson Help?
    Making direct sales calls, particularly cold calls, is a chore for most people. Only the exceptionally extroverted sales person says, "Give me some names and numbers - I thrive on rejection." Our seminar students frequently ask about alternatives... read more